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Re: amending soil for turf grass planting

Yeah- not going to dig down 12 inches just for grass, and besides I can't due to the sprinkler lines. But I plan to till the top 3 remaining inches (I'm trying to strip off the top 2 inches so that the grade is improved). Since it is solid clay, I'll till it, then add amendments and till it again. I've decided to drive up to Grass Valley (Barb's neck of the woods) to Peaceful Valley farm and garden supply- they have a great bagged compost, and I want to get greensand, and anything else I might find. I've already got kelp meal and coarse grade humus. I haven't told my husband that I'm stealing his Honda Element yet this morning (he he he!). I did one of those quicky soil tests yesterday, and it suggests that my soil is too alkaline (no big surprise), but doesn't have enough nitrogen or potassium, and has excess phosphorous. Oh, I also need to add another drain into the drainage system, since one spot in the back is always wet, even if the rest is dry.


Pam Evans wrote:
LOL - bet that was a grueling task.  Theresa, best amendments I can
recommend for clay are compost and lava sand.  I would dig up a new bed,
work the soil loose w/ my garden fork, put down several inches of both and
fork it all in.
Once it was all well mixed, would smooth the area out and plant, water and
mulch.  Voila.  Since you have a tiller this will be a little easier to
manage.  I tried to get all beds dug down 12" and xeriscape beds like the
big herb bed, 18" to ensure the sharp drainage these plants require.  Not
sure about the pre-emergent, maybe horticultural cornmeal?

On 3/16/07, Theresa W <tchessie1@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Hi all-

Ok- so I've officially starting my backyard rehab plan.  I rented a sod
cutter, cut most of the backyard this afternoon.  Parts or too dry and
parts are too wet for it to easily roll up an be removed.  Sooo this is
going to be quick the project this weekend, but I'm sure I'll get it
done somehow.  And the whole drainage, poor grading issue is part of why
I'm redoing it anyway.
So- eventually I'll get all the old sod removed, and then I want to
amend the very clay soil back there.  Does anyone have
experience/suggestions of what to use to amend it and at what rate of
application.  Also, I understant there is some kind of pre-emergent weed
preventor that I can use when I plant the grass seed.  Anybody know what
it is?


Theresa (who kind of feels like she's been through the wringer cycle in
the washing machine after using the sod cutter this afternoon)

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